There was a time, a few years back, when I spent time poring over arena football league rosters. Back then there were two, maybe three Bulls who would make an NFL roster. Now a few years later we had more than a half dozen guys with a real crack at the NFL and a growing talent pool in the Canadian Football League.
The teams of the NFL got down to their 53 man rosters and as far as I can see there were only two UB casualities.
Steven Means was cruising along in Baltimore and looked like a lock when preseason games started. Then he suffered an injury in the first preseason game of the year. Eventually Baltimore put him on IR, and then released him with a settlement.
Josh Thomas came to Minnesota as camp depth who, in the eyes of Vikings fans, had little chance to make the first round of cuts. Turns out Thomas was one of the last three cuts and after a great preseason the gents over at the Daily Norseman were surprised.
Three More Minnesota Vikings Get Released - Daily Norseman
Of the three, the biggest surprise. . .to me, anyway. . .is cornerback Josh Thomas. Thomas signed with the Vikings in late July, and played pretty well during the preseason. The Vikings were his sixth team, following his drafting by the Dallas Cowboys in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. I had Thomas making my final 53-man roster, so it looks like it's not going to be perfect after all.
Of course Khalil Mack got through camp. He is one of the top NFL players under the age of 25 and after the release of Sio Moore Mack is undoubtedly the guy Oakland fans think will be wreaking havoc.
RAIDERS PLAYERS/MOVIE CHARACTERS (A lighthearted pov) - Silver And Black Pride
Khalil Mack- The Hulk (Avengers: AoU)
A complete and udder wrecking ball, always a fan favorite. And though he seems to operate off of brute power at first, he has a much more complete arsenal of skills.
Next come James Starks and Branden Oliver as players who had nearly a 100% chance of making their roster.
Packers' 2015 53-Man Roster: Nine OL and 11 DBs make the team out of camp - Acme Packing Company
The Green Bay Packers have finally made their final cuts to get the active roster down to 53 men, as the teams' full list of cuts have finally been announced. As such, we can now determine the 53 players who have made the Packers' final roster.
2015 San Diego Chargers 53 Man Roster - Bolts From The Blue
Here's a look at what the San Diego Chargers' 53 man roster looks like today, and know that it may not be exactly how it looks in eight days when they take on the Detroit Lions.
Oliver seems to be listed as the third running back but in an interview San Diego quarterback Phillip Rivers hinted that the Chargers will spread the wealth among their established backs.
"According to quarterback Philip Rivers, the ground game is going to feature more of an equal rotation than just all Gordon all the time. With Danny Woodhead on the roster along with Branden Oliver, the Chargers have talent that they intend to use other than the rookie." -- Sports World Report
Next up is Kristjan Sokoli. A defensive lineman at Buffalo, he was drafted to play offensive line for Seattle. A few mental mistakes in the preseason had some thinking he was due for a year on the practice squad but the rookie came through.
NFL Cuts: Seahawks 53-man roster is here - Field Gulls
The Seahawks have announced their final 53-man roster for the beginning of the 2015 season.
UPDATE: Bloomfield HS alum Kristjan Sokoli makes NFL’s Seattle Seahawks’ 53-man roster | Essex News Daily
Indeed, Sokoli was elated when he found out he made the team.
"The best moment of my career," said Sokoli via email about his reaction when he learned he made the Seahawks roster. "I was extremely thrilled! It’s been a long road and being on a 53-man roster is something I’ve had my eyes on for some time!"
Finally there is Jake Schum who took the longest route to a 53 man roster. Schum was brought into camp for the second year in a row by the New York Jets. For the second year in a row he was cut.
Then Tampa picked him up so that someone could push their punter. Instead Schum won the job. Along with Khalil Mack he is starting in the NFL this season.
Buccaneers roster 2015: All 53 players, practice squad and more - Bucs Nation
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have cut down their roster to 53 players, and then added a few more players -- and cut a few more. All of those moves have resulted in what is close to a final 53-man roster for opening day, 2015: Sunday, September 13. You can find all the details below.
Up north a Drew Willy injury costs UB fans a chance to see Roosevelt and Willy on the same field for the first time since the International Bowl in 2008.
Drew is still healing up, hopefully to a full recovery. In the meantime Roosevelt has moved from practice squad to starter in two weeks.
This week Roosevelt had just one reception but he made a nice move to turn a short screen into a 17 yard first down.
With Willy Hurt, Jackson's REDBLACKS sitting the week out, and Adjei not currently playing a big role in Toronto Naaman was all UB fans had to see this week.
And about Drew Willy's injury.
On the Mend: Injured CFL passers making their way back | CFL.ca | Official Site of the Canadian Football League
The Bombers say nothing has changed as far as Drew Willy's initial six to eight week timeline goes, meaning he's expected to be return either in late September or early October.
The second-year Bomber sustained a knee injury in a loss to the Ticats on Aug. 9 and was placed on the six-game injured list. He's currently three and a half weeks into his rehab, leaving a window of Sept. 20 to Oct. 4 for his return to action.
That might give Willy six games this season. Winnipeg is 3-7 and has not won since Drew was hurt. It's hard to imagine when he's ready to go that the playoffs are any kind of possibility.